The Ultimate Guide to Getting a Schengen Visa

Want to visit European countries like France or Spain, but don’t have the time or money to get a round-trip plane ticket? With the Schengen Visa, you can travel across all of these countries and still save big over buying plane tickets! But it’s not always easy to get your hands on one, so we’ve put together an Ultimate Guide on how to get your own Schengen Visa to make sure you have all the information you need at your fingertips!

The Ultimate Guide to Getting a Schengen Visa

Wondering how to get a Schengen visa? This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about getting a visa to visit the 26 countries in Europe that have eliminated passport and immigration controls at their common borders under the Schengen Agreement. Whether you are planning on doing business travel, visiting family, going on vacation, or studying abroad, this guide will help you learn how to get a Schengen visa so that you can maximize your time in Europe!

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What is a visa

A visa is an official document from a country that allows its holder to pass through the country's borders. A Schengen visa is required for any European Union (EU) citizen who wishes to enter or reside within any of the countries in the Schengen Area. For example, if you want to go on vacation to Paris, France, then you will need a visa issued by France. These visas are usually issued by embassies and consulates outside the EU; this means that if you are living in Europe but want to travel outside of the Schengen area, you will have to get your visa before departing Europe. The good news is that obtaining one has never been easier with this guide!

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First, Why Do I Need a Visa?

Visa requirements vary from country to country. A Schengen visa is required for people who want to visit multiple countries within the European Union, including France, Italy, Germany and Spain. If you are traveling for tourism purposes, you need a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date of your arrival in Europe. You will also need to fill out an application form with all of your personal information as well as travel plans. There is a fee associated with this process, but it varies based on your nationality (citizens from EU countries have the same fee). You must then submit this application to an embassy or consulate that represents each country you plan on visiting (listed below). Once approved by the embassy or consulate, they will provide you with a single sticker-style stamp in your passport which indicates approval.

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Second, What is the Schengen Area?

The Schengen Area is the area comprising 26 European countries that have abolished passport and any other type of border control at their mutual borders. A person who is not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, who wishes to travel within the Schengen Area, must apply for either a short-stay or long-stay (of more than three months) visa. Short-stay visas are valid for stays in the Schengen Area of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Long-stay visas are valid for stays in the Schengen Area of up to six months in each 12-month period.

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Third, Which Countries are in the Schengen Area?

Below are the countries that can visit the schengen with the visa.

What Countries Can I Visit With a Schengen Visa?

With a Schengen visa you can visit all Schengen member countries:

  •     Austria
  •     Belgium
  •     Czechia
  •     Denmark
  •     Estonia
  •     Finland
  •     France
  •     Germany
  •     Greece
  •     Hungary
  •     Iceland
  •     Italy
  •     Latvia
  •     Liechtenstein
  •     Lithuania
  •     Luxembourg
  •     Malta
  •     Netherlands
  •     Norway
  •     Poland
  •     Portugal
  •     Slovakia
  •     Slovenia
  •     Spain
  •     Sweden
  •     Switzerland

meanwhile, there is also a list of non-Schengen countries that allow you to enter with a valid Schengen visa, such as:

  •     Albania
  •     Antigua and Barbuda
  •     Belarus
  •     Bosnia and Herzegovina
  •     Bulgaria
  •     Colombia
  •     Croatia
  •     Cyprus
  •     Georgia
  •     Gibraltar
  •     Kosovo
  •     North Macedonia
  •     Montenegro
  •     Romania
  •     Sao Tome and Principe
  •     Serbia
  •     Turkey

What Are The Types of Schengen Visas?

You can get a Schengen Visa if you are travelling to Europe for the following purpose:

    To transit through the airport of a country in the Schengen zone in order to take the plane to your Schengen destination country.

A Schengen visa is an entry visa which allows the holder to travel within the countries of the Schengen Area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Before you apply, however, make sure you understand which types of visas exist and what they entail.

  1.     Tourism visits and sightseeing.
  2.     Business visits
  3.     Visiting family members and friends
  4.     Travel as part of cultural exchange program, sports or research
  5.     Medical visits
  6.     Short term study courses.
  7.     Official visits

The Airport Transit visa is a category a visa, howeverall visas that arw issued for a different porpose fall into the C category.

Meanwhile this is depending on the number of entries and the number of countries you can visa. they could be issued on a Uniform schengen visa or a limited Territorial Validity Visa.

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Uniform Schengen Visas (USV)

The Uniform Schengen Visa (USV) allows its holder to travel and stay in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days every six month period. There are three types of Uniform Schengen visas:

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Single-Entry Visa.

The single-entry visa. the holder of this visa can enter schengen country only once and stay until the expiration of visa validity. If you leave before the expiration, when once you have gotten to it expiration you are not allowed to enter in any of these countries again
since the visa is considered to have expired once you leave the country.

visa with two entries.

You can enter a Schengen nation twice while your visa is valid if you have a double entry visa. You are not permitted to re-enter the nation if you enter it twice and depart the second time before the visa expires since the visa is deemed to have expired after the second exit.

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multiple-entry permit.

As long as your multiple entry visa is still valid, you are free to enter and exit the Schengen Area as often as you choose.

visas with a restricted geographical validity (LTV)

The bearer of a visa with limited territorial validity (LTV) is only permitted to travel within the borders of the Schengen member state that granted the visa. You are only allowed to stay in France if France has granted you a visa. With an LTV visa, you are not even permitted to pass between nations. This visa is regarded as an exemption to a uniform visa and is only granted for responsibilities to other countries or generally humanitarian causes.

To have a successful Schengen visa application, you must go through these simple steps:

  1. Fill the Schengen Visa Application form.
  2. Make an appointment.
  3. Complete the documents file.
  4. Show up at the appointment.
  5. Provide biometrics.
  6. Verify the documents.
  7. Pay the visa fees.

Fill the Schengen Visa Application form

Fill out the online application form completely and accurately, then print it twice and sign it at the bottom. Basic details including your name, date of birth, place of birth, passport number, and nationality are requested on the form. You will also be asked questions about your journey, like where you are staying, how long you expect to spend in each country, etc.

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Make a reservation.

Set up an interview in your own country by visiting the website of the consulate or embassy of the nation you wish to visit.

Complete the documents file

Make sure you have all the necessary documents for a Schengen visa as required, all of them in two copies. Organize them so on the appointment day you will not have a mess in your hands. You will need to leave your passport at the consulate of the Schengen country where you apply for a visa. If you withdraw your passport while your application is being processed, your Schengen visa application will be canceled.

Show up at the appointment

Show up at the appointment center on time. Remember that if you are late even for a few minutes, then they will probably cancel your appointment. The submission process takes around 10 minutes to complete.

Provide biometrics

If you have never filed for a visa to Europe previously, you will need to have the consulate's office scan your fingerprints in addition to submitting your application. If you have already done so, there is no need for you to repeat the process because the consulate should be able to check it up.

Confirm all of the specifics.

Your information will be uploaded into the online system after the verification of your application, and you will receive a printed copy of your application at the conclusion of the procedure, which typically takes between ten and fifteen minutes to complete. As soon as you get the printed form in your hands, it is imperative that you check that all of the information is accurate and then sign the document.

Make sure you pay your dues.

Adults are required to pay €80 in order to submit an application for a Schengen visa. Nevertheless, the visa charge for minors between the ages of 6 and 12 is the same as it is for adults: 45 euros.

When you have finished paying the required costs, you will be given a receipt that you must preserve in order to receive your application that has been processed. In the event that your request for a visa is denied, the application cost will not be refunded. In the event that you submit a second application for a visa, you will be required to pay the associated expenses once more.

To Which Embassy Should You Deliver Your Application If You Wish to Receive a Schengen Visa?

If you want to go to a Schengen nation, you should submit your application for a Schengen visa at the embassy or consulate of that country.

If you want to go to more than one countries during the course of the same trip, you must submit your application to the embassy of the nation in which you intend to spend the greater amount of time. If you intend to spend an equal amount of time in two or more countries, for example, five days in France and five days in Germany, then you are required to submit an application at the embassy of the country in which you intend to arrive first.

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When am i Allowed to apply for a schengen Visa 

You have to apply and make an appointment at least 15 days before the intended journey, and the earliest six months before.

Citizens Who Are Eligible to Receive a Free Streamlined Visa Application for the Schengen Area

If the applicant satisfies all of the following requirements, then they are eligible for a streamlined visa application process that is completely free of charge:

The applicant is a member of the family of a citizen of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA), and the EU/EEA citizen is traveling to or staying in a member state that is not the state of which the EU/EEA citizen is a citizen.

The applicant is currently traveling with the EU or EEA citizen, or they have the intention of joining the EU or EEA citizen in the Schengen State of destination.

What Additional Documents Do I Need to Present at the Schengen Port of Entry?

You will need to present some additional documents at the Schengen port of entry, aside from your passport with the visa sticker on it. You will also have to provide:

  •     proof of travel insurance,
  •     evidence of financial means, and
  •     proof of accommodation in Europe.

In some countries, you will be asked to present all three of them, in others only one or two. It differs from one to another Schengen country.

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How Many Days Am I Allowed To Remain in Europe If I Have a Schengen Visa?

The total amount of time spent within any one Schengen country is limited to no more than ninety days in any given six-month period. The authorities may grant you a visa for the same length of time that you have requested, or they may grant you a visa for a greater or shorter period of time depending on what they consider to be the most fair option. The embassy determines not only the number of days that you are permitted to be in Schengen, but also the earliest day that you are permitted to enter and the latest date that you are permitted to depart, which may be perplexing for a lot of people.

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In the event that you may need to remain for more than ninety days

Individuals traveling to one of the Schengen member countries for purposes that require them to remain there for more than ninety days, such as working or studying, are eligible to apply for European National Visas. You must fall into one of the following categories in order to be qualified to submit an application for a D visa to enter Europe:

  • An international student in a program that grants Schengen visas.
  • International student about to start full-time studies in Europe.
  • Teacher at a higher education institution or research center in Europe.
  • Professional traveling to Europe with the purpose of sharing expertise.
  • Traveler in the Schengen Area who is experiencing an emergency, as a medical condition, that prevents departure at the end of your National Visa.

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Can I Get My Schengen Visa Extended?

In order to get your visa extended, you must have a very strong reason behind it as:

  • Force majeure.
  • Humanitarian reasons.
  • Serious personal reasons.

You must show strong proof that you cannot leave the country before the expiration of your visa. If you have stayed in the Schengen area for more than 90 days within six months, then your chances to get your visa extended are almost zero. You have to apply for the visa extension before the expiration of your visa.

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What Are the Consequences of My Extended Stay in Europe?

If you overstay the duration of your Schengen visa, you run the danger of never being granted another Schengen visa in the future. You will first be sent back to the nation that you are originally from, and it is possible that you may also be penalized a certain sum of money.

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Why Would a Schengen Visa Application Be Denied?

Some of the most common reasons why Schengen visa applications are rejected are as follows:

  • Absence of one or more required documents.
  • One or more required documents do not meet the criteria set by the embassy.
  • Invalid Travel Insurance.
  • Insufficient proof of the purpose of the trip.
  • Past or present criminal actions.
  • Damaged passport, passport with not enough pages or validity.

What Can I do In Case of Schengen Visa Rejection?

If the embassy or consulate of the destination country you have applied to refuses your Schengen visa you can always appeal against the decision. On the day you go to receive your answer regarding your application, if rejected, you will receive a paper that indicates the reasons behind the visa denial. There you will also have included the procedures and deadlines for submitting an appeal.

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Final Thought

Planning a trip to Europe? Don't forget your Schengen visa! Whether you're visiting for business or pleasure, you'll need one of these. Here's how to get one and what else you need to know. 1) Do I Need One? You do if you are traveling from a country that is not part of the Schengen Zone into any country that is part of the zone 2) How Do I Get One? It's easy, just apply at the embassy or consulate in your home country 3) What Else Should I Know About These Visas? They are usually issued for multiple entries into the countries covered by the Schengen Zone 4) Where Can I Apply For One Of These Visas? Check with your home country's embassy or consulate for more information 5) Will My U.S. Passport Work To Get One? Yes it will 6) How Long Does It Take To Process A Request For One Of These Visas? The wait time varies depending on where you submit your request 7) What Is The Cost To Process A Request For A Visa? Costs vary depending on how quickly they are processed 8 ) Who Needs One And How Much Is It Going To Cost Them?